Most of the TxDOT mix designs are similar to Superpave designs, but are still designated as TxDOT Type A, B, C and D designs. The facility does produce a considerable amount of permeable friction course mix, which contains a high content of crumb rubber, and there is also an increasing demand for stone matrix asphalt (SMA) for some of the high traffic volume projects.
A commitment to future success
Bush is confident the investment Vulcan made in the new plant will serve the San Antonio market for a long time to come.
"We pretty much operate year-round serving customers within a 50-mile radius of this facility (some as far away as 100 miles), so we expect this plant to produce a lot of asphalt for a long time," Bush says. "We invested in a good heavy plant because we know they can wear out, and there's always going to be routine maintenance to take care of, but to be a competitive player in this market you have to be willing to buy better plants each time you need to replace one that's worn out."
And with the expanded production capability, being able to incorporate more RAP in particular, and the fuel economy of the plant, the low emissions output of the facility also represents a significant commitment to being a good neighbor, both with agencies who buy from Vulcan and surrounding residential developments.
"The public is always going to be concerned about the environment and as residential developments continue to move closer to our plant/quarry operation, we have to do our part to protect the environment we share with our neighbors," Bush says. "So it doesn't hurt to let our customers and neighbors know that we've invested in technology that lowers the plant emissions in producing the asphalt they want. Nobody wants an asphalt plant in their backyard even when residential and commercial developments are the ones moving into your backyard, but everybody wants quality asphalt at a low price. So to deliver what our customers want, we have to make the investments required to maintain state-of-the-art production capabilities."